Unoccupied Premises During Covid-19 Lockdown

Due to the current Government restrictions on movement, many businesses have had to cease operations or instruct their staff to work remotely from home. This has inevitably led to premises being left unoccupied for periods of time.

Most insurance policies require to be notified if premises are going to be unoccupied for more than 30 days (or in some cases 45 days). In light of the current situation, some insurers have extended this period. Depending on the insurer this could be 60 or 90 days. Insurers will only need to be notified at the end of the new period if the premises will still be unoccupied. During the extended period, your existing cover will remain in place.

Please contact CCRS Brokers if you wish to find out if your policy has been extended and for what period. Insurers will continue to review their position as the situation develops, so ensure you keep up-to-date with the latest updates.


Property Policy Conditions

You may have certain policy conditions you are required to adhere to in order to mitigate loss. Please ensure you are aware of what applies to you under your policy wording. Again, due to the current restrictions on movement, insurers are aware that some businesses may be unable to fulfil certain policy conditions. If this applies to your business, please get in touch with CCRS Brokers who can advise on what you need to do.

Some insurers may be able to offer some flexibility in relaxing conditions. However, if your business remains in operation or conditions are capable of being fulfilled, the policy conditions will apply. If you are in any doubt, CCRS will be able to advise.


Keeping your property safe and secure

During the Covid-19 situation, there may be times your property will be unoccupied due to your business not operating or employees working from home. In these cases, there are several precautionary measures you should take to keep your property safe and secure.


Disconnect power – Switch off and disconnect any appliances and battery charging equipment from sockets if they won’t be in use. If power is needed for the alarm system or other critical building systems, then do not turn off power from the main switchboard.

Get rid of any waste – remove any waste from the building and don’t leave any close to the exterior perimeter. Ensure bins and skips are moved away from the building and are left empty where you can.

Remove valuable items – when practical, remove all cash and valuable items from the premises.

Be prepared to respond to any incident – ensure all key staff have access to call out lists, Emergency Response Plans and Disaster Recovery Plans.

Keep it heated – it is recommended that all buildings should be kept at a temperature above 4 degrees centigrade to look after the heating and water systems.

Light it up – where possible, leave the external security lighting switched on. Alternatively, use timers or light sensors.

Keep fire protection active – ensure all fire protection systems, including fire suppression systems such as sprinklers and fire detection systems, are active and maintained and ensure that the systems are remotely monitored.

Isolate water ­– if the property will be unoccupied for a long period of time, isolate water supplies that are not required for fire protection systems or other critical equipment.

Lock up – make sure you close all doors, including fire doors. Lock your windows and close any shutters.

Set the intruder alarm – check it is working and is remotely monitored. Ensure all alarm activations are attended by a key holder.

Check the premises regularly – maintain security rounds and site safety checks where practical and possible.

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